Haiti: Workers take to streets to demand minimum wage rise

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hundreds of Haiti's factory workers protested in Port-au-Prince on July 10 against the government’s proposed paltry rise in the minimum wage.

Currently paid US$4.75 a day, workers mainly from factories outsourced to foreign companies are demanding wages rise to US$12.75 dollars for eight hours of work.

However, the government has said the minimum wage should only rise by 55 cents.

"That won't send our kids to school, that won't pay the rent. Just getting from my home to the factory costs more than [55 cents]," said Patricia Joseph, speaking to AFP as she headed to the predominently-women march.

Workers protests have been ongoing since May, following a dramatic rise in the price of fuel that worsened inflation.

As well as criticising the bosses for exploitation, workers accuse President Jovenel Moise of having sold them out.

"Jovenel is favouring the bosses who financed his campaign. That's why he lacks the prestige needed to run the country. He is manipulated by the bosses who give him orders," protester Reginald Orel Lafontant told AFP.

"They want to satisfy the interests of the bourgeoisie, but the voice of the people is the voice of God and there are more of us than there are of them," he said, insisting the protesters would not give up on their wage demand.

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